What is the best beginner spider?

iucandi

Arachnopeon
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Feb 5, 2007
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What is the best beginner spider?

I have a few tarantulas but I really want to get a pet spider. I'm highly interested in the whole webbing process and how they catch their prey. I don't want something that is incredibly dangerous, like the black widow, but from what I've heard they are tough predators.

So what do you think? Any suggestions for me?
 

starmaiden

Arachnosquire
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Oct 23, 2006
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Black Widows are probably overrated as far as the danger goes. My dad probably has about a million of the biggest females I ever saw in his shop! They are everywhere in there! And huge too. He just squishes them with his fingers. He's even been bit a few times, but it didn't really bother him, or so he says. Maybe he's built up a tolerance over the years?

When I told him that people were selling them online for $10 or $15 bucks each, he was completely mystified! He was like: "Why would they pay money for those (insert expletive of choice here) things? I got 'em everywhere here!" :?

I think brown recluse and hobo spiders are much more dangerous. But I'm not sure about that. Have you thought about jumping spiders or wolf spiders? They have really cute faces and interesting behaviors. :)
 

iucandi

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I honestly haven't thought about any spider except the black widow... I started looking into it after you posted on my other thread. I am honestly leaning towards getting one, especially since your explanation that they are not that dangerous. I will never be handling it... I can't wait to have one (any spider for that matter). Where can I get these things? Will it most likely be live delivery? I really wouldn't want to order one now because of this insane weather...but i'm oh so anxious!!! How long do they live- spiders in general...


Black Widows are probably overrated as far as the danger goes. My dad probably has about a million of the biggest females I ever saw in his shop! They are everywhere in there! And huge too. He just squishes them with his fingers. He's even been bit a few times, but it didn't really bother him, or so he says. Maybe he's built up a tolerance over the years?

When I told him that people were selling them online for $10 or $15 bucks each, he was completely mystified! He was like: "Why would they pay money for those (insert expletive of choice here) things? I got 'em everywhere here!" :?

I think brown recluse and hobo spiders are much more dangerous. But I'm not sure about that. Have you thought about jumping spiders or wolf spiders? They have really cute faces and interesting behaviors. :)
 

iucandi

Arachnopeon
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I agree Cheshire! Jumping spiders are neat! Even the Carolina Wolf Spider is pretty cool looking compared to a black widow. :)

After thinking about it, I don't know if I really want to get a black widow. I'd be pretty paranoid about it getting out of its tank.

Jumping spiders... i'll have to look in to that.
 

Bothrops

Arachnobaron
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What about a BROWN widow (Latrodectus geometricus) or a false widow spider? (Steatoda sp.)?
 

Selenops

Arachnoangel
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Carolina Giant Wolf Spider (Hogna carolinensis)

Or any Wolf Spider species will do fine. Foraging/opportunistic predator.

Huntsman Spiders (Heteropoda venatoria)

Mouse Grey Jumping Spider (Phidippus octopunctatus) <-- Arguably North America's largest jumper and has a reputation for taking prey larger than itself. The common name whose origins are uncertain stem from the fact often times when spotted in the wilds, reputedly can resemble a miniature grey mouse.

Redback Jumping Spiders (Phidippus johnsoni)
 

Arachnophilist

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go on YouTube and check out the videos of people feeding their wolf spiders from a set of tongs.. the little monsters jump for the food! I personally would go for one of those to start. you could even go outdoors and look for a Tegenaria sp. I keep two. one 3" female T.duellica and a smaller unsexed T.agrestis that I raised from the ggsacs left by its dead mother. pretty nice but not as cool as a wolf spider.
 

iucandi

Arachnopeon
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I think I'm going to take it easy for a little while first. I want to make sure I research all about them and get to the point where i'm comfortable about the thought that they might escape. I think I can only deal with the paranoi with my t's. Anyways, thanks everyone for commenting.
 

rex_arachne

Arachnobaron
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salticids are pretty easy to take care of, they are just too small, but cute and "intelligent" looking.
i had success with huntsman as my first true spiders though, but very fast and could bolt out if you are not attentive while opening their enclosure.
 

ErikH

Arachnoangel
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How about grass spiders (agelenopsis sp.)? They make cool funnel shaped webs, are fairly hardy, and are easy to catch in the summertime anywhere in the midwest.
 

Venom

Arachnoprince
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I would strongly recommend you avoid the widows for now, until you have a lot more experience.

As far as webbing spiders go, Agelenopsis "grass spiders" or Tegenaria "house spiders" would be great beginners. Also Achaearanea " American house spiders" and Steatoda "false widows."

Wolf spiders are always a great starter spider. They're big, voracious, active, easy to keep, easy to find, safe, and...they can't climb!! You'll never have a wolfspider climb up and out of a container!

Anyway, there are plenty of interesting and non-dangerous alternatives to widow spiders. If you want to practice for a widow, you should keep Achaearanea and Steatoda, as they are near widow-clones, but without the dangerous venom.
 

Widowman10

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actually, i would suggest getting a black widow first. they are soooo hardy its unbelievable. i personally wouldn't get a wolf spider first- at least not a big one. they are fun and all, but kinda hard to transfer b/c they are so dang fast. widows are easy. you can put them ANYWHERE and they will build a cool web and survive. you don't have to worry about feeding them that often either. they are not dangerous b/c as you said, you won't handle them. they are not very fast and thus easy to work with and also won't escape- they will be happy in their new enclosure. black widows were my VERY FIRST spiders and i've never had any problems at all. good starter spider and fun to watch, nothing they won't eat.
 

Venom

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actually, i would suggest getting a black widow first. they are soooo hardy its unbelievable.
Hardiness is not the main concern here...

i personally wouldn't get a wolf spider first- at least not a big one. they are fun and all, but kinda hard to transfer b/c they are so dang fast.
Difficult to transfer? You can just pick them up, for pete's sake! They are simple terrestrials--fast, but ground-bound. Widows climb...quickly. It's a lot easier--not to mention safer, to move land-lubbing wolf spiders than it is ANY arboreal or web-weaving spider, let alone a highly venomous one!!

widows are easy. you can put them ANYWHERE and they will build a cool web and survive. you don't have to worry about feeding them that often either. they will be happy in their new enclosure. black widows were my VERY FIRST spiders and i've never had any problems at all. good starter spider and fun to watch, nothing they won't eat
If ease of husbandry is your main priority, there are plenty of beginner-friendly alternatives to the widow spiders. You wouldn't recommend an A.australis over a P.imperator on the basis of desert vs. rainforest husbandry, would you? And they can't even climb!


they are not dangerous b/c as you said, you won't handle them. they are not very fast and thus easy to work with and also won't escape-
:wall: :wall: :wall: :wall: Please, widowman, you know how fast widows can be within their own webs! They are clumsy on the ground, but are quick and nimble climbers--whether that's in their web or on your prod/ tweezers. Black widows are dangerous whether or not you handle them. They are, hands down, NOT beginners' spiders.
 

Scolopendra55

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If your looking for a good "first timer" true spider I dont think you can get a much better one than the green lynx spider (Peucetia viridans). It is decent sized, gorgeous, and attacks food like a tiger. IMO you cant go wrong with an adult female.
 

mrglock27

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Black Widows have the most toxic venom in North America, Right? If it's a dry bite obviously you won't get any symptoms. If it bites the crap out of you and injects venom you will be in hell for 3 or 4 days with severe muscle cramping. My grandpa's mom was bit by a widow when he was a kid and she had to have her leg amputated because it got a severe infection. By the way I love black widows and have caught several dozen when I was a kid. They aren't super fast but if you get bit your gonna be hurtin'.
 

Selenops

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Nobody should enjoy getting bitten by a Black Widow and avoid any opportunity of envenomation intelligently and be mature sensible keepers.

There is even a "disease" called Latrodectism when someone is seriously envenomated and catching the full fury of the Widow's toxicity. Definitely recommended for experienced invert keepers.

Here is a "horror" story of Latrodectism published in a book of questionable validity written by columnist Gordon Grice. Not intended to misalign this wonderful creature but a fascinating account. What is journalistic sensationalism and what is fact based is debatable. Enjoy (I hope).

Click here!
 
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